[Foundation-l] Re: Copyright complaints

Robert Scott Horning robert_horning at netzero.net
Sun Feb 12 17:26:23 UTC 2006

Ray Saintonge wrote:

> Kim Bruning wrote:
>> On Sat, Feb 11, 2006 at 12:12:53PM -0800, Michael Snow wrote:
>>> For copyright infringements where we have an actual complaint by an 
>>> affected party, (...)
>> The problem is where there is no such complaint as yet, or where
>> people incorrectly claim "fair use" in an attempt to escape
>> deletion.
> It presumes bad faith to say that they claim fair use to escape deletion.
> Presuming good faith would put a motivation to improve the article first.
> How do you distinguish between a "correct" and an "incorrect" fair use 
> claim.
> Ec
You have to use both context and quantity of usage for justification. 
 Clearly it is better to obtain permission than to simply claim 
fair-use, and the bigger issue is really just fair use images.  Fair-use 
text can be distinguished mainly as a short quote or merely used in 
reference, and the bulk of a page can't be fair-use from a single 
source.  For both text and images courts do use how the content is 
competing against the original product (book, magazine, newspaper), with 
distribution formats that differ widely to be given a larger degree of 
lattitude.  Reproducing a newspaper article in a book has been found to 
be legal by some courts, for instance.  I wouldn't rely on that as 
ironclad protection, however, and it is a very grey area I would 
recommend that we stay away from on Wikimedia projects.

As general project policy regarding fair use, I think it is best to not 
just stay strictly within the law, but steer clear of legal grey areas 
where possible that could still get our projects in trouble.  With the 
extra trouble of trying to even find what might be fair-use, I 
completely understand projects like Commons that simply don't even want 
to allow it at all.  Wikibooks doesn't even have a fair use policy yet, 
but this is perhaps something we need to consider on that project. 
 Obviously Wikipedia opened a can of worms to even allow fair use at all.

Robert Scott Horning

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